Shop Floor Performance 



It all starts with a well-trained soldier. As a veteran of the Vietnam War, I still vividly remember my eight weeks of basic training as if it were yesterday. I can tell my friends and college-aged boys about it but without experiencing this training first-hand, they will never truly understand or appreciate what I learned during those eight grueling weeks. Likewise in manufacturing, we seem to tell our factory employees about Just-in-Time (JIT) and all of its wonderful benefits, but do they really understand it? We drill them with tutorials, videos, textbooks, etc., on the goals of eliminating waste and continuous improvement. As good a practice as this may seem, it still falls far short of providing a method of training that demonstrates the real value and concept of experiencing JIT live right on the factory floor firing line. Over countless years of dealing with this issue, the Factory Demonstration model was

developed to provide the realism, interactions and lasting hands-on training necessary to convey the concepts and ideas in a format that achieves results. We must enlist the new recruits and the seasoned veterans of past manufacturing campaigns and train them in the use of new and improved fighting tactics for the battles yet to come in the next century.

There is a lot at stake in this new war. This war is not being fought over political issues, however, but over manufacturing suprem­acy. Nonetheless, the war is just as real, and the consequences of defeat are serious and far reaching. For, although lives are not at stake in this war, the livelihood of the American worker and the American community and our country certainly is at stake.

Soldiering: A New Way of Life

The primary basic training objective of the manufacturing soldier is to agree on the correct definition of a manufacturing process. This can best be understood by reviewing Figure 2.

Our company's mission is to improve the manufacturing process by only training on those activities that add value and destroying those things that add cost. Our technique will focus on the real meaning of Just-in-Time. The elimination of all wastes! In basic training boot camp, our first priority was to learn the military code that included the Chain of Command and the Code Of General Orders. In manufacturing, we must teach everyone the new JIT Code Of General Orders that include:

• Elimination of Non-Value-Added Steps

• Improve Product Design

• Improve Process Flow

• Reduce Batch Size

• Reduce Set-Up Times

• Improve Cycle Times

• Control the Process

• Restructure Supplier-Customer Relationships

• Improved Quality

Now that we understand our General Orders, its now time to begin to wage a front line battle by applying these orders. Our basic training exercise will now include active participation by an assem­bled company in a Hands-On, live Factory Dem­onstration Model.

To be Continued


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